Master Classes

Deliberative Democracy and Public Engagement: What, When, How

Wed 29 November 2017Presenter: Professor John Dryzek, Dr Simon Niemeyer, Associate Professor Carolyn Hendriks, Dr Selen Ercan and Dr Wendy RussellMembers' Dining Room 1, Old Parliament House

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METHOD OF DELIVERY: The masterclass features interactive presentations and roundtable discussions on the latest research in deliberative democracy and citizen deliberation in minipublics (such as Citizens' Juries), focusing on the practical questions about how deliberation works, how and when might best be used, and how its outcomes can be measured.

COURSE CONTENT: The masterclass begins with a "big picture" overview of deliberative democracy, what the field has achieved and how it has been applied in Australian and global contexts (Presented by Prof John Dryzek).

The second session on citizen deliberation and minipublics focuses on the following questions: What does good deliberation look like? What does it do? How can/should it be used in the woder political process? How can it be designed? (Presented by Dr Simon Niemeyer).

The final session will take the form of interactive roundtables covering the design, implementation and use of minipublics involving participating researchers and participants.

COURSE AIMS AND OBJECTIVES: The masterclass aims to provide participants with a window into the latest reserach in deliberative democracy. It will deepen understanding of how public engagement can be improved by learning lessons from the Centre or Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance's over two decades of conceptualizing, running, and evaluating minipublics.


  • Gain enhanced understanding of the role deliberation can play in addressing intractable public policy problems
  • Learn the latest research findings on what works and what does not
  • Develop key competencies of deliberative design and evaluation
  • Establish broad networks with valued peers
  • Exchange ideas with leading experts of deliberative democracy


Professor John Dryzek

John Dryzek is Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow and Centenary Professor in the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis. Before moving to the University of Canberra he was Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Australian Research Council Federation Fellow at the Australian National University. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, former Head of the Departments of Political Science at the Universities of Oregon and Melbourne and of the Social and Political Theory program at ANU, and former editor of the Australian Journal of Political Science.

Working in both political theory and empirical social science, he is best known for his contributions in the areas of democratic theory and practice and environmental politics. He is globally known as one of the instigators of the ‘deliberative turn’ in democratic theory.

 Dr Simon Niemeyer

Simon Niemeyer is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow who has been researching citizen deliberation in minipublics for two decades. His focus has been on the forces that shape public opinion and how and why this changes during deliberation. He has carefully studied feature of design in minipublics, including the settings that improve deliberative outcomes. More recently he has focused on how minipublics can be used to improve political deliberation in mass public settings and the institutional features that best facilitate deliberative democratic governance.

Associate Professor Carolyn Hendriks

Carolyn is an Associate Professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. Her work examines democratic aspects of contemporary governance, particularly with respect to participation, deliberation, inclusion and representation. She has taught and published widely on democratic innovation, public deliberation, policy evaluation, network governance and environmental politics. Her current research projects are exploring the possibilities of democratic innovation within conventional and alternative modes of political participation. Carolyn is an appointed member of newDemocracy’s Research Committee and sits on the editorial board of several international journals, including the European Journal of Political Research.

 Dr Selen Ercan

Dr Selen Ercan is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis. Her work examines the prospects for public deliberation in particularly difficult political contexts that are characterised by deep value conflicts and political polarisation. She has published various articles on the theory, practice, and methods of studying public deliberation in both structured forums and the broader public sphere. Ercan’s recent publications appeared, among others, in International Political Science Review, Politics and Policy, Environmental Politics, Critical Policy Studies, and Democratic Theory.

 Dr Wendy Russell

Dr Wendy Russell is the Director and Principal Consultant of Double Arrow Consulting. She has diverse experience in science, social science, policy and engagement practice, which brings a breadth of perspective to her work in engaging, synthesising and integrating across boundaries. Wendy is trained in public and stakeholder engagement, deliberative democracy, writing and editing and facilitation. Wendy most recently worked in the Commonwealth Department of Innovation (formerly DIISR, DIISRTE and DIICCSRTE) developing and implementing the Science & Technology Engagement Pathways (STEP) framework under the National Enabling Technologies Strategy. This involved designing, running and reporting on a series of stakeholder and public engagement workshops, and working with a group of diverse stakeholders to design STEP.

REGISTRATION: Please visit here to register for the event.

For more information please contact: IGPA.CourseAdvice | at | | P: 02 6201 2977


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